This would present theologians with a big problem. Inconsistency is imperfection. Imperfection cannot therefore be attributed to God. Furthermore, inconsistencies in God’s message would dangerously threaten the authority, sanctity and inerrancy of Holy Scripture.
Yet we have the Lord God making the following two statements:
I came to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and a man’s foes shall be they of his own household. (Matthew 10:35,36)
If any man cometh unto Me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own soul also, he cannot be My disciple. (Luke 14:26)
So Jesus states in both passages that He wants domestic disharmony not peace, and warns people that without such family hatred they cannot become His followers.
What gives here? These statements are diametrically opposed to Jehovah’s Fourth Commandment of honoring father and mother (not to mention pooh-poohing spiritual love).
Thankfully, scientist/theologian Emanuel Swedenborg offers us a rational explanation by which we can escape such doctrinal schizophrenia and even strengthen our faith in God’s Word.
Swedenborg claimed that God’s Holy Word was a multi-leveled document. Its stories were more than a literal account of human history. They contained higher levels of meanings that conveyed purely spiritual content (as opposed to merely worldly or materialist content).
So even worldly terms like “father,” “brother,” ”sister,” “mother” and “household” contained richer messages about various qualities of the human spirit. Therefore, the word “father,” understood spiritually, would represent the main values and choices we make in life. These values impregnate the human heart and mind (mother), thus fathering and giving birth to our ideas about reality. One’s household is his or her worldview (or faith-system). “Sons” and “brothers” and “sisters” and “mothers” represent the various feelings (loves) and ideas (knowledge) and their resulting activities that occupy one’s spiritual household.
Knowing this we can now begin to make sense of the Lord’s apparent bad advice illustrated in the biblical verses quoted above. First, if one does not accept the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior, then one’s inner household contains a “father” and “progeny” that is opposed to God’s teachings. A household operating under opposing principles to that of spiritual love (which unites) will be divided against itself. It is such a household, that the Lord has issues with, for everything in it represents a man or a woman’s true spiritual foe and enemy (our true spiritual enemy is a worldview that stands in the way of peace and eternal blessedness).
The passages which lead up to the verses quoted above make it more clear that Jesus is referring to individuals whose household is not based on God’s spiritual tenets (and therefore adopt a different family of qualities into their household—qualities unworthy of spiritual love). This difference in orientation is the reason for the seeming discrepancy between Jesus and Jehovah—a discrepancy that cannot be reconciled with a simple terrestrial understanding of the terms “father,” “mother,” “brother,” “sister” or “household” used in Scripture.
I have shown you just a glimpse of the deeper revelations that are contained within God’s revealed wisdom. The Lord God has promised to return and reveal His true glory. It is by means of the deeper teachings and levels of meaning contained within Scripture that the Lord God’s true glory will unveil itself. How else can a finite book like the Bible hold God’s Infinite Wisdom?
My upcoming book Proving God will not only discuss these deeper teachings, it will actually show that this scaffolding of the biblical architecture also provides the means by which religion can interface with modern science in a most rational and orderly way!